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Using JavaServer Faces

by chromatic
ONJava Newsletter for 09/08/2003

Dear Reader,

It's been a week of "oh, one more thing." And that's why you're just getting this newsletter today. It was the one more thing that just didn't happen. Sure, last week's ONJava newsletter started with a serene "Greetings, gentle readers." In fact, I'm guessing that chromatic was conflicted when he wrote his last ONJava newsletter. On the one hand, he can now put his energies into ONLamp and other O'Reilly projects. On the other hand, I'm sure he's going to miss this site. Thanks to his efforts, ONJava has had top-notch content that I've looked forward to reading each week.

Meanwhile, chromatic left you with two nice articles. In the first, Andre Cioroianu writes about Using JSF. Andre focuses on the latest features of JSF (JavaServer Faces) including actions, managed beans, and navigation rules. "The JavaServer Faces framework provides JSP tags for rendering HTML forms, manages the state of the forms, validates user-input reporting errors, lets you bind user interface components to JavaBean properties, and does many other things that increase your productivity." You'll see how all of the pieces fit together in his comprehensive code listing.

Have you noticed how many tool vendor presentations lately include the phrase "and you won't have to write any code." I like writing code, but acknowledge that some of the repetitive, grunt-work code could be better handled by a code generator. Supplying the right metadata and using a trusted tool should lead to a more robust way of producing the code you need, with fewer bugs. Meeraj Kunnumpurath discusses this in his blog, Generate or Handcraft.

In ONJava this week, Jack Herrington continues on this theme in his article Code-Generation Techniques for Java. He looks at three approaches. The Code-Driven approach is exemplified by XDoclet, which uses JavaDocs for design information and its clone VDoclet, which uses Velocity. The Model-Driven approach is separated into two categories. The first is the Custom approach where you end up building one-off solutions from text output generated by XSLT, Velocity, and Jostraca. The OMG also has an initiative for the Model-Driven approach with the objective of turning UML diagrams into code. In this article, Herrington gives a nice overview of possible solutions for generating your Java code.

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In other featured weblogs, William Grosso follows on this metadata theme by pointing to the availability of the forthcoming JSR 175 specification. Dian Almaer declares the JDO 2.0 Kickoff Meeting a success. Brian Coyner complains about a new "feature" in the IDEA IDE that recently bit me as well. In place of the classpath setting you now have options to add various libraries and to add and attach classes.

If you have any ideas for articles or just want to check in, drop me a line at

Daniel H Steinberg
ONJava editor
daniel@oreilly.com

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